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Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips for First Impressions ~ The Butler Speaks

Okay, I have pulled out my book The Butler Speaks book once again. I shared some blog posts about this book, see herehere, and here. Now I am on etiquette and these tips from Mr. MacPherson are very interesting.

Mr. MacPherson believes that a good butler has much to teach us about how to make a good first impression and wants us to consider these pointers as first-impression success no matter what the circumstance.

*  When meeting someone for the first time, repeat his or her name in your conversation. A butler will call the guest Mr. or Mrs. plus their last name. He will never address a guest by first name. 

*  Use the appropriate amount of formality depending on the circumstance, but whenever you're uncertain, err on the side of being more formal, at least at first. Most people will tell you if they'd prefer a less formal style of address, but few will tell your when you've erred and gone too informal. 

*  Listen carefully when you meet someone, not only to the words a person uses but also to their underlying meaning. Respond when appropriate, and be generous and gracious. 

*  Always maintain eye contact

*  Be careful of using humour. If you are meeting someone for the first time, you do not want to offend them.

*  Check your ego at the door. Wait until you have established credibility before you even consider challenging someone you've just met. 

*  Choose your words carefully because, rightly or wrongly, what you say will be used to judge your intelligence, education, culture and abilities. 

I have really enjoyed this pointers and hope to be sharing more.

(photo via Pinterest)

Friday, January 27, 2017

My Favorite Spring Candles

I know it is really early but the stores have been releasing things so early that it is hard not to purchase your favorite items when they are available.

I stopped in White Barn Candle during their semi-annual sale and saw that some of my favorite spring scents were available.

My candles at home

So I figured why not..... I purchased White GardeniaLily of the Valley, and Fresh Cut Lilacs (my favorite). I hope that they will come out with some hand creams and body lotions in these lines. That would be great! I still miss my favorite scents from my college years. I loved sheer freesia and night blooming jasmine. 

Go and check them out soon. They are quite wonderful.

(photo via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Visit to Williams Sonoma

After my husband and I visited Restoration Hardware we decided to walk down to Williams Sonoma. When we walked in we saw their wonderful new dinnerware collection called The Japanese Table and oh is it pretty!

My husband even liked it!! I wish I had taken pictures but I was so busy looking at everything. 

This was our favorite.

We did however end up purchasing the place mats. 

The next beautiful set I saw was the Citrus Dinnerware Collection.

This was so pretty in person.

And these goblets oh my....

I wish I had taken pictures of these. They are much prettier in person.


This collection was really pretty in person also.

These would be great to organize your kitchen with...

And last but certainly not least this new floral scent called White Gardenia. I did not get a chance to smell it but I will be going back soon. 

Well I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have a moment to visit your Williams Sonoma I hope that you will share your finds as well!

(photos via Williams and Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tilly's Tea Room ~ A New Tea Room Find

Okay, so for those who know me they know that I love a good tea room. I have been to about two so far. My first one was the Ayres Tea Room, see here.  The second was called the Cakebake Shop, see here.

Now, when my husband and I went shopping for dinner tables this past weekend we ended up finding another one!  I was really excited. I have never heard of it.

Here is a little bit about the owner:

Tilly’s opened in February 2015 and brings the traditional English tearoom to suburban Fishers with a modern-day spin. Owner Sharon Moore, originally from Newcastle, England, came to the states 12 years ago as a television producer for Champ Car. Putting the brakes on her career after having her children Max and Tilly, the tearoom's namesake, and no longer wanting to travel for work, Moore created a tea room that combines her English sensibilities and enjoyment of good food in a child friendly atmosphere.

Tilly's uses traditional english recipes to serve a menu consisting of soups, salads, sandwiches and panini's as well as a Traditional English Afternoon Tea. Home made fruit scones are served with strawberry jam or lemon curd and real Devonshire Clotted Cream. Tea's are imported from England and feature favourites like Ginger Peach,  Blueberry Elderflower and Chocolate Superberry. 

After spending two years coming up with the styles and ideas for the tea room. Tilly's features a play room for children and hosts special events such as birthday parties, bridal and baby showers and open house events

Love the table!

A great space for a bridal shower.

Okay, love the silver.

My husband actually found this spot and has already said that he will take me to lunch there soon. I am really excited! I hope you enjoyed this post and for those of you who actually live in my city I hope that you will go and take a look at it soon. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley,info about the owner from

Their website is here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Champagne Truffles

One of my fav bloggers, and author Jennifer L. Scott shared a small video about her dinner rotation meal schedule several weeks back.

In that video she talked about these truffles that her husband purchased in London and came home with them. They looked so good in the video.

While me and my husband were shopping in our Keystone at the Crossing mall we came across them! I was so excited and remembered them from the video. Now these truffles are really expensive. For the two layer box it is $74 but on the day that we found them they were 70% off so we only paid $21.40! We ended up buying 2 boxes!

And Jennifer was right they are so good.....

Here is the video from Jennifer. She talks about the truffles in the first 5 minutes of the video. Enjoy!

(photo via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Inspiration for a Dining Room Table

I mentioned that I am on the look out for dining room inspiration. We have had our current dining room table for about 7 years. There is nothing wrong with it, it's just that the table and chairs are just to high.

Honestly, it has a bar room table feel and I loathe it! The only reason why I purchased it in 2010 was because it was within our budget, it had six chairs and it was practically indestructible. Now that I am getting older I wanted something a little more sophisticated and something that will last. I want something timeless.

So my husband and I went to Restoration Hardware to get ideas and samples for the kind of table we want.

Of course I had to take a picture of the chandeliers. They are just mesmerizing. 

This is an actual photo that I took inside the store. This is what we want.
We both love the color and the shape. 

Here is another photo from the side. The chairs are great too! 

Here is another great example. So chic....

I think you guys get the picture now....
Love the legs on this table.

It was a great visit and we really enjoyed it! We got a table sample of what we wanted and some paint colors. I love shopping for furniture and I just love home decor. Really, I just love being a woman. If you want to read my blog post about my first visit to Restoration Hardware see here.

(photos via Mrs. Shockley and Google)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Furniture Shopping for my Home ~ Round 2

Last weekend I decided to go and look at some furniture. The last time I did this was in 2014 see here to read about it. As I look back on that blog post I can see that I have not wavered in my choices of furniture nor colors and honestly we have purchased most of those items! I was a bit tickled when I realized that.

I wanted to take a look at the Joanna Gaines Collection at Value City. I think most of us have heard of this lovely duo. She has a wonderful blog called At Home: A Blog by Joanna Gaines. I just recently found it and will be reading it more often. I have a subscription to her new magazine and have written a blog post about her see here.

I was really excited to see her collection and took photos of my fav pieces. If you have an opportunity to see her collection in person I would encourage you to go and take a peek.

This beauty was upfront when you walked in. 

I can't get enough of this Carpe Diem Accent Chairs. 
I had my husband sit in one and he thought it was really comfortable! Yeah!!!

Now this I also LOVED. It is called the Dapper Sofa- Emerald. I love how rich the color is and the velvet. Honestly it's different and here in Indiana everyone seems to have the same furniture in their homes. It's really sad. It's like we all visit each other's homes and then we can't figure out what we want so we just go and copy our friend's or families homes. Sick of it!!!

I am not doing it! I will only buy what I love and what sings to me.  

Another Carpe Diem chair.....

Now this is not apart of her collection but I do love it. 
It is called the Venus Serving Cart- Rose. 

I thought this was fabulous! This is called the Final Estate Canvas Print.

Different and lovely....

This was another great sofa. Not from her collection again but it was a great color. 

I don't like the pillows but it's wonderful. It is called the Candice Sofa- Gray

And finally we saw this wonderful sectional from the Joanna Gaines Collection. 
It is the Chisel Sectional. It is very stunning!!!

So stunning that.....

We purchased it!!!! We do love it and we are enjoying it. I have been wanting a gray sectional for 2 years now and the wait was worth it. I am so glad to be getting rid of the brown furniture that we have had for years. I have also been incorporating blue and white into the family room and kitchen. 

It's different and chic..

I am really enjoying the changes in my home and will be doing some more changes down the road. I am hoping to get a new dining room table soon. Fingers crossed!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Goops ~ A poem about manners

~ The Goops

The Goops they lick their fingers,

And the Goops they lick their knives;

They spill their broth on the tablecloth-

Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

The Goops they talk while eating,

And loud and fast they chew;

And that is why I'm glad that I am NOT a Goop - are you?

~ Gelett Burgess

(photo via Pinterest)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Living La Dolce Vita

About a week ago I shared on the blog about living "la dolce vita". I loved the tips that Kristi Belcamino gave in her book La Bella Figura. Now I have finished reading it and wanted to share a particular section of the book.

Kristi gave a wonderful description about her inner Italian Girl Gabriella and how should would live. It is truly inspiring...

Gabriella luxuriously cups her hand around her warm cafe au lait bowl, taking sips between bits of her homemade bread, toasted and buttered......

For summer lunches she will eat a salad and during the winter- a bowl of soup with a small piece of bread and sliver of gourmet cheese. 

For dinner she will eat pasta, chicken or fish with a vegetable salad along with a glass of wine. She usually reserves desserts for Sundays. (I need to adopt this rule!)

On Sundays, she refrains from spending any money. (Oh dear...) 

During the warmer months, meals are eaten en tavola, al fresco, at the picnic table on her patio. 

A colorful tablecloth is complimented by big terra cotta pots of red geraniums bordering the patio.

Gabriella fills her life with intellectual, emotional and spiritual pursuits; spending her free time focused on books, film, food, good conversation and good friends. She strives to live a life rich in experience and not things. (Wow, focusing on experiences not things)

She owns a small, but perfect -fitting wardrobe. Every item is of the highest quality she can afford and works with her body, style and life. She buys new items rarely and with much thought. She resists impulse buys.....

When she does buy something it is from a list of clothing items she needs to replace or feels will be an important addition to her wardrobe....

Her pantry is slim. She doesn't buy in bulk unless it is during her quarterly trip to a warehouse store where she will stock up on olive oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, coffee and dried pasta from Italy. Otherwise, she shops two to three times a week, filing her French market basket mostly with fresh produce.

She never snacks and always sits to eat. (This is major!!!) She always puts her utensils down between her small bites. She chews slowly, savoring all the flavors.

Her kitchen is small and meticulously kept clean and free of clutter, like the rest of her home. In fact everything in her home is either beautiful or useful. She lives by the William Morris adage that "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

This quote is so meaningful to me.....

The decor theme in her home revolves around unique, mostly original artwork, lots of books, plants and big comfy furniture with sumptuous fabrics and soft, sparkling lighting. She has a few treasured items displayed that are meaningful to her, but her real joy lies in her bookshelves, where she keeps only well-loved volumes.

She has developed a aura of mystique, refraining from sharing details of her life with acquaintances. She tries not to talk about herself, but instead talks about ideas. She can intelligently discuss the latest local, national or international news or a new book or film she has seen. She is very passionate, but is able to share her opinions in a poised manner. 

She does not worry anymore. She is assertive. She can respond to requests by saying, "No, I'm sorry I can't do that," or "I'm sorry I don't attend (home sales parties), but thank you for asking," without feeling the need to explain or defend herself. She also does not elaborate on a compliment but simply says a gracious "thank you." 

Every day she makes sure to count her blessings and appreciate her life right then and there. 

This was such a wonderful section in the book. I did not share it all. There was way more information about her inner Italian girl so I would encourage you to download the book to your Kindle or order it. It was a wonderful read.

To read my other blog posts about inspiring Italian woman see herehere, here, and here.


(photos via Pinterest)